Maya-2, PH’s second nanosatellite, to be deployed into orbit from ISS March 14

Published March 11, 2021, 7:42 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Philippines’ fourth satellite and second nanosatellite, Maya-2, will be deployed into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, March 14, the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) said Thursday, March 11.


DOST-ASTI Chief Science Research Specialist Alvin Retamar said Maya-2, along with the two other cube satellites under the fourth Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite project or BIRDS-4 Project, is set to released in space from ISS on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

“The BIRDS-4 Satellites (Maya-2 Philippines, Tsuru [of] Japan, and GuaraniSat-1 [of] Paraguay) are scheduled to be released in space from the International Space Station on Sunday, March 14, 2021, 5:30 p.m. (Phillippine Standard Time),” he said in a Viber message.

BIRDS-4 Project is a global small satellite development project under a strategic partnership pact between the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) and the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA).

In its website, the JAXA also announced the deployment of satellites into the orbit on March 14.

“The satellites to be released are Tsuru, which was developed by Kyushu Institute of Technology as the fourth BIRDS project (BIRDS-4), Maya-2, which was jointly developed with the University of the Philippines, and Guarani Sat-, which was first jointly developed by the Paraguayan Space Agency,” it said in a statement.

On Feb. 21, 2021 at 1:36 a.m. (local time), Maya-2 was launched into space aboard the S.S. Katherine Johnson Cygnus spacecraft.

The 1.3 kilogram-cube satellite was successfully launched together with the nanosatellites of Japan and Paraguay at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Station in Virginia, United States and was eventually transported to the International Space Station (ISS) on Feb. 22.

The 1.3-kilogram Maya-2 is a technology demonstration and educational platform geared to collect data remotely by Store-and-Forward (S&F) Mechanism.

Aboard the 1.3 kg satellite is a camera for image and video capture, an Automatic Packet Reporting System Message Digipeater (APRS-DP), attitude determination and control units for active attitude stabilization and control demonstrations, Perovskite solar cells and Latchup-detection chip, STAMINA4Space said.

Apart from the similarity of the platforms, Maya-2 was developed and improved using the knowledge gained from developing its predecessor.

“Maya-2 is [a part of a] well executed plan that Maya-1 will not remain as Maya-1 but it will continue to grow and improve as a series of Mayas – as a platform to explore and educate Filipino generations of engineers and scientists in the meaningful and peaceful use of outer space,” said Engr. Joven C. Javier, who headed the BIRDS-2 team that launched Maya-1, UiTMSAT-1, and BHUTAN-1.

Maya-2 was developed by three DOST scholars while pursuing their doctoral degree programs in Space Engineering in Kyutech in Japan. They are Engineers Izrael Zenar “IZ” Bautista, the BIRDS-4 project manager; Marloun Sejera, and Mark Angelo Purio.